Digicel has high hopes for Haiti mobile money service

21 Sep 2010

Haiti’s largest mobile network operator by subscribers Digicel plans to launch a pilot service allowing users to send, receive and store money using their mobile phones in early October. The company’s press release said hundreds of users will take part in a six-week trial, aimed at filling a void in the financial services market in a country where only around 10% of the population have used a commercial bank (according to USAID in 2009) but cellular penetration is over 35%. The pilot is being conducted in partnership with a large non-government organisation (NGO) running a cash-for-work programme and one of the major banks operating in Haiti. July saw the Jamaican-based Digicel group launch a similar service, ‘Digicel Mobile Money’, in Fiji. Maarten Boute, Digicel Haiti CEO, commented: ‘Mobile money services offer a secure and convenient way of transferring and handling money. We have already seen their amazing impact in places like Kenya where according to a study by Edinburgh University, after just three years, 40% of the adult population now uses them and have seen their incomes rise between 5 and 30% as a result.’

Haiti, Digicel Haiti